The Gospels recount many of the miracles the Lord performed: restoring sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, strength of limbs to the lame and palsied, multiplying the loaves and fishes to feed the hungry. Saint John, in his Gospel, does not call these great works of Jesus miracles; he calls them signs. Truly, the Lord’s miracles are signs, since – in addition to what the miracle accomplishes in itself – it points to some further reality. This can be seen clearly in the miracle of the raising of Lazarus, recounted in today’s Gospel. Not only is Lazarus raised from the dead, but this miracle points to a greater work of God: the glorious resurrection of our Savior on Easter. This is why the Church places this Gospel story towards the end of Lent, as a means to help us prepare spiritually for Easter.
Next Sunday, we begin Holy Week with the commemoration of the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The “shut-down” last spring prevented us from observing the Holy Week and Easter celebrations publicly in our church. The sharp decline in the Wuhan virus cases (Wood county’s average daily case was 106 in November and is now down to 1 case per day) provides us the opportunity to gradually resume a more normal practice. We will continue to broadcast the audio from each Mass on low-power radio at 103.9FM and the video of the 10am Mass on Facebook, in order to accommodate those who are unable to attend Mass physically.
I just received my “covid” check (via direct deposit) from the Federal government. Without disputing the wisdom of the $1.9 Trillion spending bill appropriated by Congress and signed by President Biden, the fact remains that I received that money. And you did (or will soon), too. If you decide to use a portion of that to support our parish, I suggest you consider a gift to the Diocesan Annual Appeal. We have already made our target, so every dollar given now is returned 100% to our parish as an assessment-free rebate.
May God bless you!